Five Things To Do Before You Quit Your Day Job
It seems like everyone these days has a side hustle. They’re doing their 9 to 5 job and working on five other projects at the same time. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I did it myself for several years as an Oracle lawyer by day and a haircare entrepreneur by night. When I started building tgin with my book “Thank God I’m Natural” in 2006, side hustles weren’t unheard of, but I think I broke the mold in the white-collar world of lawyers and investment bankers where it wasn’t prevalent. Over a decade later a question I’m commonly asked is how I was able to juggle my day job at Oracle with tgin growing as a company. Some things I learned were through experience or trial and error, other things were thought out before I did them. Here is my advice to anyone thinking about taking the leap into making their side hustle their main hustle.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Yes, you read that right, don’t quit. When I had a day job at Oracle I was hesitant to quit because 1) it was highly paying and 2) we were burning through cash at tgin particularly as it was scaling. So what was critical was for me to have a good team. So in order to have a good team, what I did was use a service like hirmymom.com which allowed me to work with contractors who are basically stay-at-home moms, or people who had left the workforce or were freelancing for one reason or another, but have strong skills they used in corporate America such as bookkeeping, customer service, marketing, etc. These were individuals who weren’t necessarily looking for jobs that were 40 hours a week; they may have only been looking for jobs that were 10-15 hours a week, which worked really well for me. It allowed me to right size and scale my company with people who were only looking for part-time work. By keeping my full-time job and utilizing part-time help, I was able to grow the company, while keeping the cash coming in and costs low.
- Have a Plan
The reason a plan is important is that you should be laying out your goals over the next few months or the next few years and determining where you want to see your company going. Set a goal that you want to hit and make it one that’s tangible. For me, it was getting tgin products into national retailers. It’s funny because once I got my products into Target, I was thinking about quitting based on that goal, but I realized that things were running pretty seamlessly the way things were so I didn’t quit my job. I opted to keep juggling the two.
- Figure out your Finances
You don’t want to quit our job without having your finances figured out. Do you have money saved up? Do you need a loan from the bank? Consider that banks like to loan money to people when they have jobs versus when they don’t have jobs or income coming in. If you’re going quit, get the loan or financing before you do.
- Sweat the Small Stuff
There are a lot of little things to think about before you quit your job. I like to call them “administrative”. Make sure there won’t be any gaps in your health insurance coverage when you leave your job. This was particularly important to me, as someone who was dealing with breast cancer. I also had to look at things like stock options and make sure I didn’t leave any money on the table. In fact, waiting another 30 days to quit enabled me to get more money from my stock options. Also, be sure to check your cell phone, if it’s a company phone, you’ll need to get your own plan.
- Consider your Options
Before you quit, consider if consulting for your company is available to you as an option. When I quit Oracle my boss said:
“Hey, Chris-Tia, do you want to, you know, work for us part-time?” “You know if it ever comes up if you ever want to come back or work on a consulting basis…”
And I was like, “Wow!”
That’s something you should be mindful of. You may be able to do 80% of your business, 20% consulting for your old company. That option was made available to me because of the goodwill I had built up with my company over the years. Talk to your boss about working part-time. You never know if you don’t ask. There are over 27 million entrepreneurs in the U.S. and that number is on the rise. In today’s workforce, most employees won’t spend 25 years at the same company as their parents and grandparents did. The truth is the road to owning your own business is not an easy one, but if you are well prepared you can navigate the crowded field and turn your side hustle into your only hustle.
What are some deciding factors for you regarding taking the leap into the world of entrepreneurship?